Things I’ve Learned at Forty-Two That Nobody Taught Me
Some people and most situations won’t make sense anymore and trying to make sense of it all will only drive you insane — so don’t bother.
You will no longer have control over your body, which means that certain natural occurrences you relied on for most of your life will either be minimized, or suddenly cease. This is a scary process that could alter you forever but it signals that you’ve lived long enough to handle the uncertainties of life. Take it like a champ and forge ahead.
You may be faced with the realization that you will never experience parenthood in the way that you had imagined or hoped. This means contemplating life without that experience or embracing alternatives that compensate for that loss. Navigating this alone is no easy feat but the sooner the better — especially if you’re a woman.
Close friends may suddenly become unrecognizable to you. This is common for people our age. It means you’re doing something right and this is nature’s way of separating you from the ones who will end up being of no use to you in the years to come. You are still capable of creating new and meaningful relationships. And in reality, those are the ones that have a better chance of standing the test of time.
You will have distressing thoughts and restless nights, which will render you tired, cranky, and depressed, almost all the time. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Settling into your forties isn’t as easy a process as we would like to hope. No matter how perfect your life is — you won’t be able to escape the voice of doom that pounds in your head. This is supposedly the warning sign that you are approaching the finish line at rapid speed. It is also the chaotic sensors of a possible hormonal imbalance, which is typical and can be managed accordingly.
You don’t have to act your age because there is no such thing. You can do whatever you want as long as you have the strength and the means to make it happen. You are never too old to resurrect a harboring dream or finally choose the career path you rejected for a more a stable option. The sky is always the limit, and thankfully — you finally get it.
You will no longer have the level of tolerance to accommodate bullshit, which is a blessing because frankly you just don’t have the time for it. The need to be accommodating to assholes or to family members that jokingly demean you or swiftly mock your decisions or lifestyle will be regulated to the back burner. This is an empowering transition and it will cause some level of conflict. But again — you are immune to it all and before long — everyone around you will catch on and eventually surrender to your regulations.
Food and nutrition can’t be ignored. This is the period when you hone in on taking the very best care of yourself. All the things that you did sporadically when you were in your twenties and thirties have to be done systematically in your forties. This will at least give us a fighting chance to avoid the health issues that typically plague people in our age bracket. Conforming to a balanced diet, reducing alcohol intake, drinking tons of water and staying active will add more years if that’s something you’re striving for. If not — then do as you please. Life is unpredictable anyway — so fuck it!
You will be forced to comprehend the importance of picking your battles. It will come so easy to you that you will be amazed at how much energy you expended trying to fix everything and everyone when you were younger. There is this incredible transformation that occurs and it kicks in when you least expect it — but when it does it’s a refreshing reassurance that you are finally able to be the bigger person in any scenario. This also means that you are a full-fledged adult.
Finally — be as selfish as you want to be and make no apologies for whatever decisions you make because this is the time to reel it all in and make the impossible possible. You spent all that time caring, worrying and stressing about what people think and whether or not you were making the right choices that you ended up falling short of your own expectations. You can still do it.
Life doesn’t begin at 40 — you just become so much better at living it.